Eggplant and Goya Taco Rice

Taco Rice is a staple of Okinawan cuisine.  A Japanese take on a Mexican or Spanish Taco it is generally served with taco meat over rice with cheese and occasionally some garnish.  This dish, like many Okinawan foods is simple in that it is mostly protein and carbs.  Unfortunately, it leaves much to be desired for vitamins etc.  My take on Taco Rice includes four vegetables to give it more of a kick. Hope you like it.

Ingredients

  • 400g (about 1lb) ground beef
  • 1 piman (Japanese green pepper)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 large eggplant
  • 1 small goya
  • Taco seasoning (dry packet)
  • Prepared White Rice
  • 1 can refried beans
  • Cheese
  • Taco Sauce

Recipe

Prepare the rice, generally 1/2 to 1 cup per person.  The taco mix will make enough for 2-3 hungry people, or enough for leftovers.  In Japan it is important to wash your rice before using it.  After measuring out your cup(s) (using a rice ‘cup’ will be just less than a western ‘cup’) of rice, rinse them in a strainer until the water runs clear.  Add the rice to your rice cooker (follow stove stop directions if you do not have one) pot.  Add 1 full ‘western’ cup of water for every 1 ‘rice cup’.  Let the rice sit for at least 20 minutes.  Start your rice (usually the big red button) and you should have perfect white rice in 30-60 minutes, depending on the amount and your cooker.

Next, prepare your vegetables.  Note, I only used 4, but carrots, or other favorites would do just as well.  Dice the piman, onion and eggplant.  Prepare the goya as seen in the Goya Chanpuru post, then dice it as well.

Brown your ground beef (tofu can be substituted for a vegetarian option) in a Large fry pan, once browned, drain the oil.  Add the diced vegetables and return the pan to the heat.  Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Follow the instructions for your Taco Seasoning.

While that simmers, take a bowl and add the canned refried beans.  Add cheese and 2-3 table spoons of taco seasoning.  Mix and microwave until warm.

On a plate add the rice when finished, then bean mix , and finished meat and vegetables.  Sprinkle with more cheese.  You can add lettuce, tomatoes, or any other garnish you might like.  Enjoy!